There are episodes in my life when I miss people or places so much so that it physically hurts. An unprecedented side effect of marriage. It sets in as panic attacks when I see someone celebrating a 60th birthday or I meet an elderly couple, my father is growing old without me.
My father is one in a million. And I’m not just saying that; higher education, jobs and marriage have introduced me to a whole group of men that I never knew existed. He is not the commercial-type-kiss-his-child-good-night kind of father, or your ideal man in the life kind. Having inherited a considerable portion of the military spirit from my grandfather, he has the capability to silence us even as we have blossomed into adults.
As children, we had a larger NOT to do list as opposed to the to do (It wouldn’t really be fair to downsize the To do’s either ). As much as he succeeded in disciplining us in most ways ; my sister and I united (otherwise bitter enemies) to find loopholes.
Don’t eat in the car – So it was either don’t eat or stop in the middle of the desert – get out , eat, get in. This resulted in me and my sister silently melting potato chips in the backseat, too scared to even gulp down saliva in the fear of being kicked out
Don’t EVER be late – Calculate 10 minutes backwards and plan your routine
Don’t eat anywhere in the house except for the kitchen – rule broken again and again
Don’t snatch the paper when someone’s reading
Don’t interrupt when someone speaks
Don’t play on switchboards
Don’t keep your feet on the wall
Don’t enter a room without knocking first
Fold your clothes – I found the easier option of just dumping the clothes behind the door , until, umm Daddy Dear found out. I don’t have to tell you what happened next
Do your bed every morning
Study on time – We smartly hid storybooks in the textbooks
Eat your veggies – Oh no, we threw them in the trash
File. Organize. Photocopy.
So all of this was going well, until bam the three musketeers came into the picture. Organisational gurus would have given up but no, my Father did not back down. 21 years later, he still chases them up the stairs with the legendary mutawwa stick if they haven’t cleaned their rooms.
25 years and a son later, I know how much you love me and how much you sacrificed to give me joy every second of your life. Maybe it was a shirt to buy me my favorite toy or La Sani to give us Dajen. You have set the bar so high, I wouldn’t expect anything less for my children when it comes to parenting. My husband found the father he always wanted to be in you.
Thank you Dad, for letting me choose to follow my passion in a world where every other parent chooses to be blind to their child’s dreams.
Thank you for teaching me to leave the bathroom spotless, to keep my shoes in line.
Thank you, for going against the tide for giving me the wedding I always wanted.
Thank you for showing me on my very first day of school ; how keeping things ready the night before gives you a productive day.
Thank you for giving me your full attention as I ranted about my stories.
Thank you for engraving the words “Nobody is like somebody else” for it taught me to accept people and sleep with a clean heart every night.
Thank you for bringing me up close to the Quran, may Allah have mercy on you.
Thank you for being the doting grandfather to my child, the one I wanted.
Thank you for giving me the most beautiful family, the one I grew up with and the one I started with the husband you chose for me. They are my most precious treasures.
I love you, Dad